County fire inspectors declared a southwest Miami-Dade home unsafe Monday, two days after it exploded because of a hydroponics lab inside, according to authorities.
The explosion happened on Saturday just after 11 a.m. near 63rd Street and 151st Place, and it had forced authorities to evacuate the neighborhood. Video of the scene showed the home's roof detached and several firetrucks.
"They have chemicals,” said Miami-Dade Police spokesman Det. Alvaro Zabaleta, who said the incident was one of the worst the force had seen in years. “A lot of vapors, use electricity that they steal from company, obviously they don't do it by code, they don't do it by professionals. And when you combine all these elements, it’s just a formula for disaster."
County crews were cleaning debris from neighborhood homes in the aftermath of the explosion.
The fire department said Monday it has handed off the investigation to the Miami-Dade building department. Police said arrests are forthcoming.
"I was in shock," Ceferino Egusquiza, who lives next door, said about the incident. "I can't believe that."
Ana Egusquiza said the explosion caused her house to shake nearby.
"I felt the explosion," she said. "I was at home reading sitting down. The explosion felt like it was coming from the ground and the house shook. When I went outside the windows were blown out and everything was shattered. The front of the house was on the ground. Everything had crumbled."
Another neighbor told NBC 6 South Florida that four adults and one child, who occupied the house as renters, were inside during the incident and then fled in a vehicle.
Police are searching for the home's renters.
Police believe that the homeowner, who surveyed damage to the house, is not involved in the incident.